I hear this from women all over the country. I have no idea how many of them will vote. I didn’t know that many women were the kind not to speak up, but I guess I underestimated the pressure. When your social network and community support is on the line, it’s easier just to keep your mouth shut:
Susan suspects there are other women like her, but that part of the reason conservative female Christian voters won’t openly support Clinton is because of the culture of submission in Evangelical churches. Wives are supposed to follow their husbands’ lead in every matter, including politics. Speaking out against those traditional teachings can come with a risk—a social penalty of alienation from a very tight-knit community, to which spouses, extended family, children, and support systems are all intricately linked. Still, she knows of pockets of women who are defecting from Trump. “I hope all those people who are saying no to Trump are also, secretly, saying yes to Hillary,” she says.
Susan and Jennifer are not as anomalous as we think. There are hundreds of private Facebook groups with names like “Secret Hillary Club,” most of which were formed during the caucus, when Clinton supporters felt alienated by ardent Bernie Sanders fans. But now, these online groups have coalesced into places of support and encouragement for counties that burn predominantly red in the polls. Cynthia Silver, a director and acting teacher living in New York City, started her pro-Hillary private Facebook group after a heated social media argument with a former student. Since Clinton won the nomination, Silver has been surprised to see the group grow to well over 2,000 members from all over the country.